By Daniel D’Oleo
Nineteen people enjoyed the opportunity to visit Israel while having fellowship, sharing meaningful scripture readings on biblical sites, and bringing scripture alive in their souls and minds. The trip was organized by the Renacer Hispanic Ministry under the leadership of Stafford Frederick and Daniel D’Oleo as a fundraising event to support the vision and ministry of the Renacer Hispanic Ministry.
The trip was a wonderful experience for those visiting the Holy Land for the first time. Being in the same cities and places where Jesus walked and developed his ministry was emotionally meaningful for many in the group. This was especially so for the six people who were baptized in the Jordan River, those who enjoyed the boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, and those who experienced floating in the Dead Sea. Among the places visited: Capernaum, Canaan, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Caesarea, Sea of Galilee, and the Dead Sea, among others. Rain on the day of the visit to the Tomb of Jesus did not stop the group from sharing communion together on site.
Before going, there were concerns about security while visiting Israel. However, the group learned that the media has contributed to creating many unrealistic fears. The experience was a great one, and the group never felt in danger.
The makeup of the group was as follows: fifteen women and four men representing the USA, Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Chile, and Haiti, with the oldest person turning 80 this month. Throughout the trip, songs and hymns were sung in four languages: English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Hebrew.
The trip was deemed a success as lives were touched, multicultural relations strengthened, funds raised to bless and support a new church plant, memories built, and most importantly the name of God was glorified!
Income from the trip will be dedicated to supporting the vision of the Renacer Hispanic Ministry to encourage Latino church planting efforts in the United States. For more information about Renacer Hispanic Ministry go to the Ministerio Hispano Renacer Facebook page or call 540-892-8791.
— Daniel D’Oleo is a Church of the Brethren minister and a leader in the Renacer Hispanic Ministry.